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The Marlborough Science Academy

Student Attendance


If your child is absent or going to be late for any reason, please inform the school’s attendance team before 8.20am so form tutors know of the reason for absence before the registration period.  It is important that a call is made on each day that your child is absent.

The attendance line telephone number and email address are 01727 731368 and email, please store both in your phone contacts

When contacting the school please do ensure that you provide the full name of your child and the reason for their absence.

By law, only the head teacher can authorise your child’s absence. Reasons for this might include holidays, sporting activities or other exceptional circumstances.  It is important to keep the school informed if your child is going to be absent as soon as possible at the start of the day.

If your child is frequently absent due to illness the school may request permission to contact your GP for confirmation that they are too ill to attend school, medical evidence maybe requested for each absence, and we are grateful for your support with this.

If it becomes clear that your child will be away from school for longer than expected, phone the school to explain this as soon as possible so we can determine a way forward.

If your child attends school and feels unwell during the school day they will be directed to student services and the school will contact you to arrange collection from the school reception.


The codes used are standard codes as issued by the government.

How will absences from school affect students progress?
Attainment levels

The quality of school work and qualifications gained will be significantly lower if attendance is lower.

School Routine

Your child's learning and that of other students could be disrupted by the missing of vital classwork.
A child or young person's well-being and long-term life opportunities may be adversely afffected by the missing of positive experiences associated with school and learning.

What is acceptable attendance?

We expect all students to aim for 100% attendance.

96% attendance is regarded as good and can be achieved with minimal illness.

Any attendance level that creates a cause for concern would initiate intervention by the school, this could be as simple as a ‘chat’ with the form teacher or may, in more severe circumstances, lead to the involvement of our attendance team, our family support worker or referral to agencies outside of the school.


How does the school record absence?

The school uses an electronic system of attendance registration that is updated within each lesson by the form teacher or subject teacher. 

Absence is categorised as being authorised (agreed and accepted by the school as being appropriate) or unauthorised.

Examples of authorised absence would be genuine illness, medical appointments etc.

Examples of unauthorised absence would be truancy, parentally condoned absence without appropriate reason, taking a day off for a birthday and unauthorised holidays in term time. Meet with the relevant pastoral leader to discuss barriers to attendance and any appropriate support required.  An action plan will be produced and the attendance monitored.


If your child’s absences are more frequent, you should expect to receive a letter informing you of your child’s attendance level.

You will be asked to attend a meeting in school to identify any potential barriers and any appropriate support that is required to improve the attendance, where appropriate this may include the use of external agencies.

A plan of action will be compiled that is aimed at helping you improve your child’s school attendance.

A failure to comply with any such plan without a valid reason will, if your child’s school attendance does not improve, result in a referral being made to the local authority who will aim to support you in ensuring your child attends school regularly.

Further poor school attendance by your child may result in legal action being taken against you by the local authority.

Can a student take a holiday in term time?

Due to the legal change in the Department for Education (DfE) legislation, at The Marlborough Science Academy we will only grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances that are not related to holidays.

Parents/carers must send in a letter addressed to the headteacher requesting permission to take their child out of school during term time due to an exceptional circumstance.

Term time holidays/extended leave are not allowed unless the circumstances are exceptional (rare), and parents/carers are discouraged from arranging them in term time.

If parents/carers choose to take their child out on holiday in term time the absence will be recorded as an unauthorised absence, this can lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued.

You will be contacted by the school, either by telephone, letter and/or visit to your home in order that the level of, and reasons for, your child’s absence can be discussed with you if we have any concerns.


The attendance team can be contacted on: 01727 731368. Please leave a message on the 24 hour absence line. Or email

Please store both in your phone contacts

Morning registration begins at 8.40am every morning so students should aim to arrive on the school site by 8.35am. 

A NEW Late to School procedure is being put in place in January 2024.  The letter sent to parents/carers can be found here 

From 15th January 2024

  • Senior staff will be on the front gate meeting students arriving after 08.35. Any student that is late will have their mobile phone confiscated for the day. This will be returned at the end of the day. 
  • If a student is late on more than one occasion in the week, their mobile phone will be confiscated until the end of the week or until a parent/carer is able to come into school to collect it.
  • Where students are late on more than three occasions in a week, then parents/carers will be asked to come in to school to meet with a member of the attendance team to discuss reasons for poor punctuality and to agree strategies that will support an improvement. 
  • On occasion, lateness to school is unavoidable. If this is the case, then the reason needs to be communicated to the attendance team so that any sanctions can be avoided.


Learning begins during registration. This is where form tutors meet and greet the students and can ensure that they are ready for the day.  Our twenty-minute form period is designed to help teach our character education programme, highlight important events in school and around the world and enables students to develop literacy and oracy skills.

Lateness to school quickly adds up to lost learning time – over the course of the year 15 minutes of lateness each day adds up to two school weeks of lost learning time.

Lateness will be monitored alongside attendance and if punctuality is a concern parents will be contacted.  If no improvement is forthcoming, then parents will be asked to come into to school to discuss what action will be taken. 


If my child has an unacceptable level of unauthorised absence, what can I expect to happen?

You will be contacted by the school, either by telephone, letter and/or visit to your home in order that the level of, and reasons for, your child’s absence can be discussed with you.

A plan of action will be compiled that is aimed at helping you improve your child’s school attendance.

A failure to comply with any such plan without a valid reason will, if your child’s school attendance does not improve, result in a referral being made to the local authority who will aim to support you in ensuring your child attends school regularly.

Further poor school attendance by your child may result in legal action being taken against you by the local authority.

You may initially be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice warning letter. We may also request medical evidence for each absence due to illness.

See the information provided below in regards to the Fixed Penalty Notice.


A Fixed Penalty Notice is a fine issued to parents or carers and can be either £60 per parent or carer (if the payment is made within 21 days of receipt) or £120 per parent or carer (if paid after this, but within 28 days). Fixed Penalty Notices are issued by post to your home and will explain how and where to send your payment. You must pay the whole of the amount owing in one payment. You cannot pay in instalments or part of the amount.


How will i know when I am going to receive a fixed penalty notice?

Before Fixed Penalty Notices are issued, you will receive a written warning which will explain the extent of your child’s non-attendance and the possibility of your receiving a Penalty Notice when unauthorised attendance reaches 15 sessions.. During this period, your child must not have any further unauthorised absences from school. There is no limit to the number of times a formal warning of a possible Fixed Penalty Notice issue may be made in any particular case, you can also be fined twice in the school year.

What kind of unauthorised absences result in the issuing of a fixed penalty notice?
  • Where students are openly truanting, this includes students found during truancy sweeps by the police.
  • Absences from school which parents or carers are aware of, but that are not authorised by the school.
  • Holidays that have been taken in term time which the headteacher has not authorised.
  • An unacceptably delayed return from an extended holiday if the parents or carers have not received permission beforehand from the school.
  • Regular late arrival at school (after the register has closed)
How can I help my child? 
  • Let your child know that you think school is important.
  • Make sure your child goes to school regularly and on time.
  • Take an interest in your child's schoolwork.
  • Provide regular times and a quiet, clean area for doing home learning.
  • Set a regular bedtime schedule.  Age should not be a factor.
  • Provide your child with plenty of time to get ready for school.
  • If your child starts to miss school, speak to the school, and let your child know he/she must attend.
  • Have regular communication with the school.
  • If your child is ill, contact the school and explain the reason for the absence.
  • Don't expect your older children to stay home and act as babysitters for younger children.
  • Set good examples and enforce rules.
  • Include regular exercise and a balanced diet in your child's daily activities.
  • Post the school calendar and notes on the refrigerator, or another prominent location.
  • Balance time with extracurricular activities.
  • Keep open communication lines with your child.
 Attendance Case Study for the Local Authority 
A Parent's Guide to Managing Sickness Absence from School

Occasionally, students are too unwell to attend school. We will monitor and engage with parents as soon as a pattern of absence becomes apparent.

When deciding whether or not your child is too ill to attend school. Ask yourself:

  • Is your child well enough to carry out the activities of the school day? If not, keep your child at home and consult your GP as appropriate
  • Does your child have a contagious condition that could be passed on to other children or staff? If so, keep your child at home
  • Would you take a day off work if you had this condition? If so, keep your child at home
Common conditions

Most illnesses can be classified as one of a few minor health conditions.

Whether or not you send your child to school will depend on how severe you judge the illness to be. This guidance can help you to make that judgement. If you’re concerned about your child’s health, consult a health professional.

Cough and cold

A child with a minor cough or cold may attend school. If the cold is accompanied by raised temperature, shivers or drowsiness, the child should stay off school, visit the GP and return to school 24 hours after they’re feeling better.

If your child has a more severe and long-lasting cough, consult your GP, who can provide guidance on whether the child should stay off school.

Raised temperature

If your child has a raised temperature, they shouldn’t attend school. They can return 24 hours after they’re feeling better.


Rashes can be the first sign of many infectious illnesses such as chickenpox and measles. Children with these conditions shouldn’t attend school.
If your child has a rash, check with your GP or practice nurse before sending them to school.


A child with a minor headache doesn’t usually need to be kept off school. If the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms such as raised temperature or drowsiness, then keep the child off school and consult your GP.

Vomiting and diarrhoea

Children with these conditions should be kept off school. They can return 48 hours after their symptoms disappear. Most cases of vomiting or diarrhoea get better without treatment, but if symptoms persist, consult your GP. 

Sore throat

A sore throat alone doesn’t have to keep a child from school. If it’s accompanied by a raised temperature, seek medical advice.